I took my HESI a2 exam today and I am happy to report that I did well. The posts on this forum helped me a lot, so I want to create a post and help those who will be taking this exam. This post is bit long, but I wanted to give as much information as I can.
I took four sections, and I got a cumulative score of 96%.
Breakdown of test scores:
Reading Comprehension: 92%
Anatomy and Physiology: 96%
Breakdown of the test and the order I took it in:
Reading comprehension: 55 questions
Anatomy and physiology: 30 questions
Math: 55 questions
Grammar: 55 questions
I did reading comprehension first and took 1 hour and 25 minutes to finish it. I was the most nervous about this section because my scores on the practice tests were inconsistent and I was getting a lot of inference questions wrong. I did this section first because I wanted to be fresh when I tackled the passages. There were a lot of inference questions, purpose questions, one question about the type of passage-options were essay, non-fiction, realistic fiction and something else that I can't remember right now. The passages were short and about different subjects- ranging from gift giving, to bridges, to different eating practices. They weren't only about science or biology. Actually, I don't think I had one about a science-related topic at all.
The next section I did was Anatomy and Physiology. I did it in like 25 minutes maybe. There were a lot of general questions about bones, body systems and what they do, similarities in male reproductive system and urinary system, parts of sternum, one about baby's blood development and where it begins, bone ossification (know the steps), arteries, heart and its chambers, maybe one or two about muscles, anatomical position, digestion and where it begins, joints and articulations, skin, fingerprints and what causes them.
I took a 10-minute break after this section. I ate a sandwich, drank some water and used the restroom in this time. My test center gave us lockers to keep our stuff. I was only allowed to access my food, and not any phone, device or papers during my break.
Next, I did Math. I took my time for this section because I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything right. I think I finished in an hour and a half. There were a lot of ratios, percentages, fractions, conversions (metric system) and some English conversions, one military time question, calculating profit (word problem), know your decimal places and digits in tenths, hundredths place and so on, one or two questions about square roots. A lot of these math questions were a fill in the blank kind, without any options, so you have to know what you are doing. I double checked it each question.
I did Grammar last because I think it doesn't require much thinking. I also gave myself like thirty minutes for it, because I was sure that time won't be a problem for me in this section. There were a lot of questions that asked which word was used incorrectly in the sentence. There was one question about the use of "the", maybe two questions about affect/effect, a question about lay/lie forms, a question about the right way to write an address (what goes first, and what goes last), some questions about contractions, use of their/there/they're, whose/who's, the correct spelling
, use of apostrophe, conjunctions, prepositions, a lot of subject-verb agreement, neither/nor pairs and everyone/neither subject-verb agreement.
I was able to see my score for each section as soon as I finished it. You can choose to ignore the scores by quickly moving to the next section and not looking at your scores.
Preparation and the time I spent preparing
I studied for about a month. I started using pocket prep a while back, like three months ago maybe. I didn't use it every day because I was taking classes and had exams and other stuff as well. The real preparation was in the one-month winter break. I used the Hesi a2 Elsevier 4th
edition as the main book. I think it's sufficient for Reading, Grammar, and math, but not Anatomy and Physiology. A & P needs more studying and other resources. There were some questions that were very specific and some that I had not seen while studying at all.
I read the book for each section about three times maybe. I printed out worksheets for math and did basic addition, multiplication, fractions, and conversions. You might not need to do it. I did it because I am not good at math and I wanted to be comfortable with it.
For Anatomy and Physiology, I focused on the big picture and the general body systems. I read the Elsevier book word for word and did the all the questions in the book. I watched all 47 crash course videos for anatomy and physiology; I did the free online practice tests and the questions on Hesi a2 pocket prep. I made a small study guide and wrote down the questions that I missed. I did not have a complete set of notes because I am not a note taker, and I find it easier to learn the material than take notes. But if you are a note taker, I would say: you should take notes on the body systems, their functions, joints, and types of joints and their examples, bones, muscles, and anatomy of different organs in the body. I think it was the cumulative knowledge that helped me for this portion. I wanted to get a 100% on this section, so I gave it my best. I didn't get a 100%, but I am happy with my score.
I have a pretty good sense of grammar, but because English is not my first language, I sometimes do not have an instinct about the right answer like most Americans would. So I went out of my way to make sure that I knew the grammar rules. I read the grammar rules and printed out stuff that I didn't understand from the book. I think knowing the rules is important for this section. It also gives confidence for the test. For reading comprehension, I did the tests in the Elsevier book and some passages from the SAT book.
I think I did all the pocket prep questions for each section. I did purchase an extra book for full-length practice tests. I bought the Mometrix Hesi a2 practice tests. I think it had some wrong answers for the grammar portion, the explanations were right though. The choices A, B, C, D were kind of messed up. I would say it helped me get a feel for the test. I took them in the same order as my real test, and I gave myself the same time duration.
This is the link for Mometrix book:
3 HESI Admission Assessment Practice Tests by Mometrix HESI A2 Exam Secrets Test Prep Staff, Paperback | Barnes & Noble(R)
Write down A, B, C, D and use the process of elimination, especially for difficult questions. This way you can narrow the options down, and there is a chance you might get the question right.
Hope this post is helpful. Feel free to ask any questions that you have